Teachers condemn Dexter Government's cuts to public education

HALIFAX, May 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Some 274 delegates to the 90th Annual Council of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union unanimously condemned the Dexter government's cuts to public education, which has resulted in the loss of more than 200 teaching positions across the province.

"The cuts imposed on public education demonstrates the government's failure to recognize that education is the underlying and critical foundation of a healthy, sustainable and successful provincial economy," says NSTU president Alexis Allen. "These cuts will hurt students, and will curtail and even reverse the progress we have been making at addressing the diverse learning needs of all students."

The annual meeting wrapped up Sunday in Halifax. Over two-and-a-half days, 102 resolutions were debated dealing with issues ranging from teacher workload, providing adequate professional training for the introduction of new technologies and updating curriculum documents in all subject and all grade levels to securing class caps for Grade Primary at 20 and 25 for Grades 1 to 3 and ensuring that alternative programming is available to all students in the province.

The need for more guidance counsellors was another focus. "Children deserve the very best services, and having every school in the province staffed with a full-time guidance counsellor is vital in allowing them to reach their full potential."

The NSTU launched its Kids Not Cuts (kidsnotcuts.ca) campaign on Friday, May 20, coinciding with the opening of the 90th Annual Council. On Friday, Eric Boutilier, a teacher at Bible Hill Junior High School, was elected by acclamation as first vice-president of the Union for a one-year term. He also served as NSTU's first vice-president during the 2010-11 school year.

Mary-Lou Donnelley, President of the Canadian Teachers' Federation and former NSTU president addressed delegates on Saturday, May 21.

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents 10,900 public school teachers, and administrators, community college faculty and community college professional support employees. Organized in 1895, its programs are directed towards improving the quality of public education in Nova Scotia.

SOURCE NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION

For further information:

For more information, contact Angela Murray, 497-0194 (cell), amurray@staff.nstu.ca.

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NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION

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